An Extraordinary Person and Advil

Advil.  It’s pretty commonplace.  It’s reliable.  And it’s effective.  Trust me, as I get older I can verify that fact with increasing regularity.  But it hasn’t always been available over-the-counter.

I had the good fortune of meeting one of the people instrumental in bringing Advil to the OTC world.  Elizabeth Ashraf has a PhD in pharmacology from St. John’s University.  She also happens to be an alumna of The College of Saint Rose.

One of my assignments for my “Online Journalism” class this semester was to create a profile story about a graduate of Saint Rose.  I drew Liz Ashraf’s name.  A few weeks later, the story was published in the school newspaper.  Here is a quote from the story in The Saint Rose Chronicle:

Ashraf worked on FDA regulatory applications, reviewed advertising, trained sales representatives and provided product knowledge about Advil. She may be the foremost regulatory expert on Advil in the U.S.

Elizabeth Ashraf

Quite frankly, pharmaceuticals isn’t one of those topics that I’d normally find interesting.  But as I spoke with Liz, I became more and more intrigued. She provided a “behind the scenes” type story.  We spent quite a bit of time talking over the phone. Then the opportunity came up to meet her during a trip to New Jersey, her home state.  I jumped at it. We sat down outside a bagel shop for breakfast on a beautiful day in northern New Jersey.  The discussion ranged from family, to career, to education.

And then she said the following:

Do something that you get up in the morning and can’t wait to do…

It’s a bit of advice so simple, yet so profound.  Truly, her focus on education, her passion for science, and her dedication to her career are inspirational and extraordinary.

Profiles of the Extraordinary is a category within the This Ordinary Citizen blog.  It features Ordinary Citizens who show us what it means to be Extraordinary.  If you know someone who should be profiled, contact the author.

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